Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Health Care, Civil Rights, Language, Workforce Corps - the Connection

The U.S. House of Representatives has worked-up their 1000 page health care bill. Who will read this mammoth bill? Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, says "if every member pledged not to vote for it if they hadn't read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes." No joke! Here is what Democrat health care looks like:

Democrat Health Care Plan Click to enlarge
Did you notice the Office of Civil Rights - in the health care plan schematic? Did you notice the Office of Minority Rights in the health care plan schematic? Did you notice the Language Demonstration Program? Did you notice the Public Health Workforce Corps? Did you notice the Nurse Education & Training reporting to the Labor Department. How about Cultural & Linguistic Competence Training. Very interesting is the Health Affordability Credits - I'm guessing no cost to you if you have enough credits. I'm guessing the rest of us will pay for you. Health Care Question 1: will Congress commit to give up their current health care program, which you and I are paying for now, and submit to whatever Congress presses on the rest of America. Assuming the answer is no... Health Care Question 2: Why will Congress not submit to the same health care plan that will be pressed upon the rest of Americans? Regardless the fact that it is the U.S. Constitution that delineates our individual rights, this Bill will make health care a "right," courtesy of employers, the well-to-do, and medical providers. That's not America. Rushing to pass the Bill before Americans learn what is in it, and so that Congressmen and Congresswomen can leave the heat of Washington, D.C. for summer vacation (know as yet another "recess"), President Obama wants the legislation through both the House and Congress before recess, saying yesterday that we "have no choice but to change the health care system...." By Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal:

It was a sobering breakfast with one of the smartest Republicans on Capitol Hill. We can fix a lot of bad stuff President Barack Obama might do, he told me. But if Mr. Obama signs into law a "public option," government-run insurance program as part of health-care reform we won't be able to undo the damage.

I'd go the Republican member of Congress one further: If Democrats enact a public-option health-insurance program, America is on the way to becoming a European-style welfare state. To prevent this from happening, there are five arguments Republicans must make... Read more.

Health Care Question 3: Why do we not offered the same health care plan that Congress has? If this 1000 page monster bill is passed as it is, here's what we get:
The legislation calls for a 5.4 percent tax increase on individuals making more than $1 million a year, (who already pay 90 percent of all income taxes) A gradual tax beginning at $280,000 for individuals Employers who don't provide coverage would be hit with a penalty equal to 8 percent of workers' wages, with an exemption for small businesses. Individuals who decline an offer of affordable coverage would pay 2.5 percent of their incomes as a penalty, up to the average cost of a health insurance plan.
If you are reading this and you do not fall into any of the categories above, be assured that every dollar of your health cost will be passed on to you in some way - and you won't even know what hit you. Democrats have a 1000-page bill but no cost estimates. Figures are being bandied-about, and you know the actual cost will be triple those estimates - which are about $1.5 TRILLION dollars over 10 years. From the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), courtesy of American Spectator:
Democrat Health Care Projected Cost
It's important to keep in mind that the most costly aspects of the legislation involve providing subsidies to individuals to purchase health care ($773 billion) and to expand Medicaid ($438 billion), but it takes several years for those provisions to kick in. As you can see from the chart below, that means that the costs start out relatively modest but ramp up over time. In the first three years of the plan the cost of the subsidies and Medicaid expansion is just $8 billion; in the first five years, it's $202 billion; but in the last five years, it's $979 billion. Put another way, 17 percent of the spending comes in the first five years, while 83 percent comes in the second five years. What this means is that the American people see $1 trillion over 10 years and they think that means the bill would cost about $100 billion a year -- but the reality is more than double that. In the final year of the CBO estimates, 2019, the spending hits $230 billion.
Michelle Malkin points out that Democrats will likely try to exempt all union workers from paying for the plan, and you and I will pay for their health care. In addition, you and I will pay for health care for 10 million foreigners - non-Americans, and that number is probably low. Perhaps you saw Michael Cannon on Glen Beck today. The chart at the top of this post was featured on "big screen." I looked through some of Cannon's writing on health care at the CATO Institute. He is director of health policy studies for CATO. In Does Barack Obama Support Socialized Medicine?, he first defines "socialized medicine:"
Socialized medicine exists to the extent that government controls medical resources and socializes the costs. Notice that under this definition, it is irrelevant whether we describe medical resources (e.g., hospitals, employees) as "public" or "private." What matters-what determines real as opposed to nominal ownership-is who controls the resources. By that definition, America’s health sector is already more than half socialized, and Obama’s health care plan would socialize medicine even further. Reasonable people can disagree over whether Obama’s health plan would be good or bad. But to suggest that it is not a step toward socialized medicine is absurd.
Also from CATO Institute's Michael D. Tanner:
President Obama is right when he says that the U.S. healthcare system needs reform. Although this country provides the finest care in the world, our healthcare system has serious problems. It costs too much. Too many people lack health insurance. And quality can be uneven. The president and his supporters in Congress would have you believe that the only choice is between their plan — which amounts to a government takeover of the healthcare system — and the broken status quo. That is a falsehood.
Tanner admits that the "free-market" approach to current health care has failed.
There are two key components to any free-market healthcare reform. First, we need to move away from a system dominated by employer-provided health insurance and instead make health insurance personal and portable, controlled by the individual rather than government or an employer.
In May 2009, Tanner predicted what we are likely to see from ObamaCare (commentary in brackets [] is Maggie's):
1) At a time of rising unemployment, the government would raise the cost of hiring workers by requiring employers to provide health insurance to their workers or pay a fee (tax) to subsidize government coverage. [Result: fewer jobs available] 2) Every American would be required to buy an insurance policy that meets certain government requirements. Even individuals who are currently insured — and happy with their insurance — will have to switch to insurance that meets the government's definition of "acceptable insurance." [see the restrictions and mandates in the first chart above] 3) A government-run plan similar to Medicare would be set up in competition with private insurance, with people able to choose either private insurance or the taxpayer-subsidized public plan. Subsidies and cost-shifting would encourage Americans to shift to the government plan. [You will lose the plan you have now...count on it - no matter what you are so emphatically told by President Obama] 4) The government would undertake comparative-effectiveness research and cost-effectiveness research, and use the results of that research to impose practice guidelines on providers — initially, in government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, but possibly eventually extending such rationing to private insurance plans. [Rationing - courtesy the New York Times - fill-in the blanks: Public health insurance should pay up to $_______for a treatment that would extend a patient's life for one year. Saving the life of one teenager is equivalent to saving the lives ______ 85-year-old.] 5) Private insurance would face a host of new regulations, including a requirement to insure all applicants and a prohibition on pricing premiums on the basis of risk 6) Subsidies would be available to help middle-income people purchase insurance, while government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid would be expanded. 7) Finally, the government would subsidize and manage the development of a national system of electronic medical records. [Surely you do not think your health records would remain private]
The following video is a place holder for Glen Beck's discussion with Michael Cannon of the CATO Institute on July 15, 2009, which is not available as yet. The video below features Beck and Cannon and discusses why Wal-Mart has suddenly decided to support the employer-paid insurance option. The last health care questions: Do we need Civil Rights in our health care legislation? Do we need language mandates in our health care legislation? Do we need a Workforce Corps in our health care legislation? Thank you to American Power who has many excellent links to information you should know about. Scoot over there, follow some links, brush up and get on the phone to your Representatives and Senators. Let's defeat the urge to get this done immediately, and do it right. The point is, don't give up on other options.
Health Care - Glen Beck and Michael Cannon
Here some information you need to know from Maggie's Notebook contributor, Stanford Matthews at blog@MoreWhat:
The House healthcare bill which passed in committee and will be on the floor for the full house vote in a week or two includes the following: After one year of the date the bill is passed, employers will not be allowed to add employees to their plans. This will kill private insurance and force people to the government program. Those who remain in private plans will not be able to afford them if no one else is allowed in. The static pool of insureds will cause the cost of coverage to raise to levels no one can afford. Just another reason to contact your elected reps and demand this legislation be abandoned.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton